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Day: October 19, 2010

For Keizer-based emergency training program, reminders to start small in Peru are ever-present

Volunteers with Global Mission Readiness trained rescue workers in swift-water and high-angle rescue on a recent mission to Peru. (Submitted photo)
By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

For those fortunate enough to live in a First World country, the easiest way to deal with a bug infestation is to call an exterminator. One of the more common methods for dealing with the same problem in a less prosperous nation is to set a fire. In the middle of the living room.

“On our way to a training, we came across a a two-story brick home and smoke roiling out of the upstairs windows,” said Don Davis, chief executive officer of Global Mission Readiness (GMR), a Keizer-based program providing training to emergency response and rescue organizations. “We could hear the crackling of the fire outside the house. We ran up to the house and started knocking on the door, when we didn’t get a response, we boosted one of the guys up to the second-floor window to take a look. He got down and said there was a fire in the middle of the room.”

The group members started pounding on the door and heard some shuffling from inside. A woman opened the door and began yelling at them, asking what they were doing. When they responded through an interpreter that her house was on fire, the response wasn’t the expected one.

“She said, ‘No, I set that on purpose.’ She was trying to smoke the bugs out,” Davis said. “It just blew me away, she’s probably been doing that her entire life, but it’s so unsafe. Not only could the fire get out of control, but breathing in the carbon monoxide is so unhealthy.”

It was one of Davis’ most memorable experiences from a recent trip to Peru to train local emergency workers in water and high-angle rope rescue. It was also a reminder of how much work he has ahead of him.

“Just a little education could make a huge difference and that’s the the mission of GMR,” said Davis, a 20-year veteran of emergency services work as a firefighter and paramedic. “We want to prepare the local responders in these countries to do their work using best practices and task them with going back to educate others in their community.”

It was the terrain of mountainous Peru that inspired the curriculum of rope and water rescue. The country’s borders straddle a large section of the Andes Mountains from the north to the south and travel along narrow mountain passes is especially hazardous. On a trip earlier this year, Davis and other volunteers had their pictures taken after they loaded a bus headed into the interior of the country. The photographs would have been used to identify them if something happened on their journey.

“Motor vehicle accidents are one of their leading problems and they usually involve trucks or tour buses falling off high cliffs into the water,” Davis said.

While many of the responders are brilliant in their resourcefulness, most simply don’t have the correct tools for many of the tasks they encounter. Davis visited a rescue organization in Brazil to perform a needs assessment as part of the trip and left stunned by what he saw.

“They have an ambulance, but no water truck. The volunteers respond and use equipment from another department,” he said.

To that end, GMR travels with donated equipment – on this trip, ropes and flotation devices among other items – that is left for local responders to use.

If he ever had any doubt about the impact his organization has, the trip was a huge stride in alleviating it. Prior to to the trip, Davis was adamant about keeping participants to 25, but the organizer on the ground in Caraz sent out an invitation to all 15 of the country’s emergency response department. Representatives from 13 turned out and the student body swelled to 42. That wasn’t the only surprise, however.

“While I was there they announced they were forming a coalition to share resources and training. It was just a total shock and it started as a result of the initial training in February,” Davis said. Five of the participating organizations agreed to become members of the coalition.

Thanks to the generosity of many donors, GMR will soon be expanding its operations even further.

“We were in three countries last year. This year, we had nine missions in six countries. Next year, we’re branching out to Africa,” Davis said. “We have plenty of places to go to, we’ve got more than 50 volunteers, it’s the financial aspect that’s always our biggest hurdle. But, if we have the resources, we’re going to go where we’re needed.”

For more information about Global Mission Readiness and opportunities to get involved or donate, visit www.globalmissionreadiness.org.

For Keizer-based emergency training program, reminders to start small in Peru are ever-present

Volunteers with Global Mission Readiness trained rescue workers in swift-water and high-angle rescue on a recent mission to Peru. (Submitted photo)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

For those fortunate enough to live in a First World country, the easiest way to deal with a bug infestation is to call an exterminator. One of the more common methods for dealing with the same problem in a less prosperous nation is to set a fire. In the middle of the living room.

“On our way to a training, we came across a a two-story brick home and smoke roiling out of the upstairs windows,” said Don Davis, chief executive officer of Global Mission Readiness (GMR), a Keizer-based program providing training to emergency response and rescue organizations. “We could hear the crackling of the fire outside the house. We ran up to the house and started knocking on the door, when we didn’t get a response, we boosted one of the guys up to the second-floor window to take a look. He got down and said there was a fire in the middle of the room.”

The group members started pounding on the door and heard some shuffling from inside. A woman opened the door and began yelling at them, asking what they were doing. When they responded through an interpreter that her house was on fire, the response wasn’t the expected one.

“She said, ‘No, I set that on purpose.’ She was trying to smoke the bugs out,” Davis said. “It just blew me away, she’s probably been doing that her entire life, but it’s so unsafe. Not only could the fire get out of control, but breathing in the carbon monoxide is so unhealthy.”

It was one of Davis’ most memorable experiences from a recent trip to Peru to train local emergency workers in water and high-angle rope rescue. It was also a reminder of how much work he has ahead of him.

“Just a little education could make a huge difference and that’s the the mission of GMR,” said Davis, a 20-year veteran of emergency services work as a firefighter and paramedic. “We want to prepare the local responders in these countries to do their work using best practices and task them with going back to educate others in their community.”

It was the terrain of mountainous Peru that inspired the curriculum of rope and water rescue. The country’s borders straddle a large section of the Andes Mountains from the north to the south and travel along narrow mountain passes is especially hazardous. On a trip earlier this year, Davis and other volunteers had their pictures taken after they loaded a bus headed into the interior of the country. The photographs would have been used to identify them if something happened on their journey.

“Motor vehicle accidents are one of their leading problems and they usually involve trucks or tour buses falling off high cliffs into the water,” Davis said.

While many of the responders are brilliant in their resourcefulness, most simply don’t have the correct tools for many of the tasks they encounter. Davis visited a rescue organization in Brazil to perform a needs assessment as part of the trip and left stunned by what he saw.

“They have an ambulance, but no water truck. The volunteers respond and use equipment from another department,” he said.

To that end, GMR travels with donated equipment – on this trip, ropes and flotation devices among other items – that is left for local responders to use.

If he ever had any doubt about the impact his organization has, the trip was a huge stride in alleviating it. Prior to to the trip, Davis was adamant about keeping participants to 25, but the organizer on the ground in Caraz sent out an invitation to all 15 of the country’s emergency response department. Representatives from 13 turned out and the student body swelled to 42. That wasn’t the only surprise, however.

“While I was there they announced they were forming a coalition to share resources and training. It was just a total shock and it started as a result of the initial training in February,” Davis said. Five of the participating organizations agreed to become members of the coalition.

Thanks to the generosity of many donors, GMR will soon be expanding its operations even further.

“We were in three countries last year. This year, we had nine missions in six countries. Next year, we’re branching out to Africa,” Davis said. “We have plenty of places to go to, we’ve got more than 50 volunteers, it’s the financial aspect that’s always our biggest hurdle. But, if we have the resources, we’re going to go where we’re needed.”

For more information about Global Mission Readiness and opportunities to get involved or donate, visit www.globalmissionreadiness.org.

Lady Celt silence leads to 7-0 loss

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

When the McNary girls varsity soccer remained silent after taking the field against McKay last week, the Royal Scots filled the vacuum with the sound of the ball hitting the back of the net.

The Lady Celts were trounced 7-0.

“I don’t know if we weren’t communicating or it just wasn’t our day, but we hit the field and we were dead quiet,” said Danielle Lovejoy, a McNary forward.

The lack of communication created jams on the Celtic side of the ball and openings for McKay.

“We didn’t stay on our marks very well,” said Stacey Titchenal. “Three of us would go after one person rather than staying with our marks and that was a big part of it.”

The team was still struggling to adapt with the loss of sweeper Hailey Scoggins, said Laura Donaldson.

“We’re still trying to figure out our new formation now that it’s been switched up,” she said.

The Celts made three shots on goal during the game to no avail, but putting the ball in the back of the net is going to be essential in the second half of the season, said Miguel Camarena, Celtic head coach.

“When you allow a goal in the first four minutes of the game, everything changes,” Camarena said of the West Salem game. “We knew that we needed to play strong in the back, but unfortunately we didn’t.”

Despite the loss, Camarena credited Alex Van Amburgh for a strong 80 minutes of play – she was the only Celt on the pitch for the entirety of the game. The team needs to be stronger defensively and more aggressive in creating scoring opportunities, he added.

“We know we need to talk, we know we need to get physical, we just need to apply it to our games,” Tichenal said.

Success will follow if the team can overcome the mental hurdles they encounter during games, Donaldson said.

“If they do score one goal, we can’t get down on ourselves, we  have to keep going,” she said.

The team still has their sights set on a playoff berth, Lovejoy said.

“We don’t want it to come down to the last game of the season and a must-win situation,” she said.

Japanese influence in Keizer area could be recognized by group

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

A project commemorating the Japanese influence in the Keizer area could be on tap.

Proponents had in mind a kiosk at Keizer Station Park similar to one opened for Marie Dorian earlier this year. The Keizer Points of Interest committee sought and got the support of the Parks and Recreation Board Tuesday night.

Bob Stai said the project would get assistance from the Fukuda family, who had a farm in the early 20th century in the Lake Labish area. There they raised onions and, as it turns out, a particularly compelling breed of celery.

“We take pride in our filberts and our cherries, but they were able to cultivate two different kinds of celery and have two crops in one season,” Stai said.

Family patriarch Roy Fukuda created the “Golden Plume” variety, according to the Oregon Historical Society Museum, that was “a trait considered very desirable at the time.” Stai said Sen. Charles McNary of Keizer took some to then-President Calvin Cooldige, who sent a thank-you note to the Fukuda family.

“It’s kind of exciting for us in that I’ve been living in Keizer and a resident of Oregon for many years, and I didn’t have an appreciation or even an understanding of the influence Japanese-Americans have brought to our community,” Stai said. “… It was not taught to us in school.”

World War II’s internment program shipped off much of the Japanese population as the U.S. government considered them to be a threat at the time. And Stai said many Japanese-Americans never came back.

“It’s something we feel is important (and) beneficial for our children to know,” Stai said.

He and fellow KPIC member Sherrie Gottfried sought the parks board’s help in large part because the committee doesn’t have a budget. He’s hoping a display could go up on the blank side of the Dorian kiosk – making the fledgling park at Keizer’s biggest shopping development one that “celebrates the diversity of our community.”

Parks board members agreed to lend support, but money wasn’t discussed. That board’s members also wanted to know more about Japanese influence in the eara.

“My mother grew up just north of here and was well aware of Japanese kids in the area,” said Parks Board Chair Jeanne Bond-Esser. “And then, they were all gone.”

Stai estimated the “high side” cost of such a project at about $3,000, less if volunteer labor steps up.